'Fountain Pens for Lefties

Patrick Kansa:

Well, not learning how to write from scratch, but rather, learning how to write with a fountain pen. You see, as a lefty, there are all manner of things working against me successfully using a fountain pen. You have the whole push-vs-pull hand movement, but more importantly, there is the issue of ink. Specifically, of ink drying times.

I had lot of the same doubts, being a lefty, when I got curious about fountain pens. But I got over it. The most important thing until you either learn some techniques or get over it is to go for ink and paper combinations that limit the dry time. The Noodlers Bernanke inks are the best. The only places I even noticed dry time when I used it was with paper that are known for long dry time.

Noodlers Bernanke and Leauchttrum1917 is a solid combo.

What Makes The Stationery Community Great — The Pen Addict

Daniel Lemay:

I too experienced the sheer generosity of the people here. After saving up for months fairly early in my pen addiction I finally was able to purchase a Franklin Christoph Model 40. Less than two months into owning it, I somehow lost it (my most expensive pen at the time and the only one I ever lost). After sharing the sad news in the Pen Addict Slack Group I got an unexpected message from Thomas Hall offering to give me his Model 40 because he wasn’t using it much. That was something that totally caught me off guard–that I, a nobody in my perspective, would be the recipient of such generosity from someone I didn’t even know. The generosity of this community shows itself regularly through freely offering ink samples, picking up and shipping of Field Notes only found locally, etc.

That’s amazing. I just love the stationary community. You are fantastic.

Planner Formats | Notebook Stories

Notebook Stories:

How do you feel about planner notebooks with highly formatted pages? I love seeing images of how people use them, as the pages sometimes look wonderfully dense and textured with text and colors and highlighting. But when it comes to using them myself, I’m a bit reluctant. I make lots of lists on paper, but when it comes to keeping track of appointments and projects, I tend to use digital tools instead. I love to use pens on paper, but for some purposes I have to admit I don’t find it efficient. The image below with blocks of time laid out with different color highlighters is very appealing, but in my day to day life, I know I’d get frustrated by having no way to erase them when meetings were rescheduled! I do like the way these planners prompt you to slot your to-do list items into blocks of time– I think it’s a key part of being organized, as you have to allow yourself time to actually do things!

I personally prefer doing both planning and task management on paper because of the simplicity and how much easier it is to look in a notebook compared to a complicated calendar or task management app. The formats of a planner is very important, and I think the preference comes down to personal choice and use case.

I prefer using one with as little formatting as possible because it is more flexible. But there are many places where a highly structured one is important, for example if you run a business with hourly appointments or have a class schedule.

Midori Traveler’s Notebook Rebranding

Goulet posted about something very interesting a few days ago:Midori Traveler’s Notebook Rebranding!. I love my MTN. And I am very excited about the news. The new colour looks amazing.

I’m a huge fan of the regular sized notebook. And the passport isn’t really something I’m interested in, for a number of reasons, that I’m coming back to in a upcoming post. But they are finally making sure that all the great refills you can get are the same for both options. Which makes the passport sized one much more attractive.

I can’t wait for the reviews this spring.

'The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews

The Pencilcase Blog:

Conid is a small-scale Belgian pen brand. For those of you that never heard of them before: they make fountain pens with a unique filling system: ‘the Bulkfiller’. The Bulkfiller system is quite an engineering feat, and there’s a lot to say about it. That’s why I decided to make this into a separate post. I’ll focus solely on the filling system in this post. You can find the review of the Conid Minimalistica fountain pen here.

This posts is going to end up costing me a lot of money. Conid have something very interesting. The filling system is interesting. But the thing that got me interested, and pushed me to add it to my wish list is their pens. They have five different pens, they look kind of different, but the key difference between them are ink capacity. I love how they market themselves: exchangeable nibs & maximum ink capacity.

This is not a cheap pen, but they claim and it looks durable. My two favourite pens from a design perspective is the Lamy 2000 and Visconti Homo Sapiens. But I also love the contemporary look of TWSBI. Conid is the first example I have seen of a pen that can compete with both.

Handwriting will not die… | The Cramped

Patrick Rhone:

Our children. Mine and yours. All of us who write by hand and advocate its importance and advantages. We who have children will write by hand in front of those children. Through such actions they will learn from us that writing by hand is something one does. We will teach them to do the same.

A fantastic piece by Mr. Rhone. I’m getting fed up with the “handwriting is going away” posts. Fine, most people write less with pens than they did 100 years ago. But when I look at the various places I have worked over the years, I can’t remember anyone that didn’t use paper. All of them used it for something. Writing down stuff they have to do on post-it’s during a meeting or writing a todo list on a A4 page.

Why do people use a pen when they have a computer? It is the pragmatic choice. It is just easier to write something down on paper than it is to find a piece of software to do the same thing. Children will also learn how to write by hand for the foreseeable future. The writing essay part of writing can be done on a computer, and the teacher are probably thankful for students that hand in papers written on a computer. But what about math? It is very hard to do what is very simple on paper with a computer without a lot of training.

There are of course areas where we used to use pen and paper where a computer, or a typewriter is better in every single shape or form. But there are also many areas and use cases where paper is better.

Task Management with pen and paper.

I just added a new page to the site. One of the things I wanted to do when I started this site was to put some time into explaining how I use pen and paper to manage my day to day life. You can find the first version of it here. I decided to have it as a page instead of a blog post because I’m going to update it from time to time.

It is a rough first draft. it will be updated from time to time, both in terms of content as my system and tools change, and in terms of some much needed editing.

I’m also going to set up a Public Github Repo to have easy access to the different versions of the text.

'Forrest Brazeal


I could write faster than I could type, but without knowing shorthand, this method still wasn’t fast enough to allow me to perfectly transcribe every lecture slide. So I was forced to write smarter, not faster. I’d listen carefully to the lecture while paraphrasing anything that seemed important, in real time, using as few words as possible.

I have tested this out a few times, where I have used my laptop to take notes in entire subjects, and the result is always the same: I remember way more of what I was told in a lecture or seminar when I take notes by hand, and the same goes when I take notes while reading.

I manage everything I do at work with pen and paper; a combination of Midori Travelers Notebook, Field Notes and the notebooks we have at work. There is no reason to do everything digital just because I work as a web developer.

'The Pen Addict

Jeff Abbott:

The Clairefontaine Basics Life Unplugged notebook is my new favorite notebook. The simple design and wonderful paper, along with the great price of just $9, make this notebook an irresistible tool in my arsenal. If you don’t mind being locked in to a lined-only paper, you owe it to yourself to give Clairefontaine a shot. Who knows — it might be your new favorite paper.

That looks like a fantastic notebook. Some people dislike lined paper, and I feel the same way from time to time. But lined paper is great for making lists and writing because you waste much less paper when you have lines; or even a grid system if you prefer something a little bit more flexible.

Cursive Logic

The Cursive Logic course looks like the obvious place to start for anyone that want to learn(or re-learn) how to write in cursive. My cursive is horrible, but I prefer to write non-cursive anyways, and I always have. But I might order this course just to get better at reading cursive.

For me, the thought of loosing cursive, as in loosing the tradition of know how to read and write it feels like loosing touch with our origin. It feels like loosing the ability to read and write classic greek and latin. In other words it feels like loosing Plato and Aristotle and the History of the great Roman Empire.

'Gourmet Pens

Azizah Asgarali:

YES. YES YES. I wish this notebook was easier to buy online, but it’s perfect for me. Although Nanami Paper offers the Seven Seas notebook, it may not be the most practical purchase for overseas buyers, so perhaps this is an alternative.

I won’t buy it for a number of reasons. Get it to JetPens or GouletPens and I’ll consider it. The ordering process is a little bit too much of a hassle for me.

This looks like a excellent notebook that will take more or less any pen or writing instrument – if long dry time isn’t a issue for you. It isn’t too bad with a finer nib, but it is a hassle with a very wet nib.

My Hobonichi Planner has the same paper, and the only time I have seen any bleed through was when I was trying to see how much it would take. The answer is: stupid amounts. And that is very impressive when you see how thin the paper is.

'The Well-Appointed Desk


Anyway, you be the judge. Does it look the same to you? I tested the same pens at the same time in the same colors. Maybe my eyes are just playing tricks on me. Either way, I think the results on the Word.notebook paper is considerably better than other pocket notebooks and I did test several fountain pens with better-than-expected results. The built-in bullet journal system is a bonus for a lot of people who have embraced the system. Even if you don’t bullet journal, if you use a pocket notebook for lists, then the Word.notebooks definitely provide a leg up over many of its competitors. And I partuclarly like the Declan floral design for being something unique, not overly feminine, but a nice aesthetic alternative to other cover designs.

Word notebooks have been on my radar for a while now. They are a very interesting alternative to Field Notes, especially if you want better paper quality. I think some of their designs look good, close to Field Notes good, while others just look like crap.


The first “fancy” pen I ordered from JetPens, after I started to listen to The Pen Addict Podcast, then on the 70Decibels network, was The Retro 51. I fell in love with that pen straight away. It was beautiful, I loved how well it was built, and most of all how the writing experience was.

I had my first one for a year, and I wrote a lot with it, before I lost it when someone stole my jacket. And I ordered a new one. The non-fountain pen market is kind of strange. You have tons of fantastic pens, but most of them look as impressive as a regular bic. You can go up to the Retro 51, it costs around $20, and you get a fantastic pen. Where can you go form there? Well, you have the Lamy 2000 Rollerball, and that is more or less it.

The Retro 51 comes in many different styles and colours, there should be something for everyone. It comes with a Schmidt rollerball refill. There is no doubt that it is a fantastic refill, and I think it is the best non-fountain pen refill that exists. But, you need to do some research, and look for some other options if you prefer a thin line.

This is the only bad thing about the Retro 51, they have taken the Apple approach. You either take what they have decided on, or you have to figure it out for yourself.

I try to always have a non-fountain pen with me for various reasons(bad paper or when someone needs to borrow a pen), and this is that pen.

Lamy 2000 Rollerball Review — Pen Addict

Jeff Abbott :

Back in 2014, I wrote about the iconic Lamy 2000 fountain pen, and talked about my love for the design and the writing experience of the pen. Well, here we are in 2016 and I’ve expanded my Lamy collection to include a Lamy 2000 rollerball. A lot about the rollerball is the same as the fountain pen version, but this one is obviously a bit more simple since it only has a rollerball cartridge inside. Even though there are a lot of differences between this and the fountain pen, it’s a great pen that would be perfect for a lot of people looking for an elegant, classy, and reliable pen for daily use.

I think this pen is the perfect gift, for when you want to give someone a very nice pen. The other option is to go with a Retro 51. Non fountain pens are weird in this aspect, you can either go for a terrible and fancy pen like a Montblanc, or a good pen, that looks good but isn’t expensive enough: Retro 51. The Lamy 2000 is the only option I know about that looks good, is good to write with and is expensive enough to be appropriate as something like a graduation gift.

Pilot Custom Heritage 92 | Calligraphy Nut

Calligraphy Nut:

One of the exceptions was this Pilot Custom Heritage 92, which is both a beauty to look at and a workhorse of a pen. I think it spends most weeks in the bag as I love the broad nib, the ink capacity and staring mindlessly into the ink reservoir when I should be working.

This is the first Pilot pen I have seen in a very long time(except for the cheapest models) that have made it into my wish list. I’m usually not into the Pilot design aesthetic, but this is one of the best looking clear body piston filler fountain pens I have seen.

Reconsidering Moleskine | The Well-Appointed Desk


Part of what spurred my interest in all this Moleskine business was when I started using my Moleskine XL for a daily sketchbook late last year. I’ve warmed back up to the possibilities of the Moleskine notebooks. I’ve carried the XL everyday, to and from work, doodled, written, stamped, scribbled, watercolored and basically treated it as the workhorse object it was designed to be treated. To no ill effects. For three months. I’m happy to keep drawing in it. In fact I look forward to continuing to fill the pages and THAT is why we have notebooks. This goes back to the whole reason I keep a notebook — so that I write and draw and make marks

Moleskine isn’t the best. The funny thing is that almost all the stationary geeks I know about started out with Moleskine. I don’t personally use any Moleskine product at the moment, and they aren’t fountain pen friendly, but they are always the thing I go for when I run out of Field Notes, just because they are available everywhere, and I know exactly how the paper is, for better or for worse.

The price versus quality with Moleskine is out of whack, but still, they are an option, not a good one, and not the worst one, if you don’t use fountain pens.

The two pens I used in my Moleskine days were a Retro 51 and a Pilot G2. One side note: the Sketch notebooks that Moleskine makes works very well with any kind of pen.

TWSBI ECO Fountain Pen Review — Pen Addict

Brad Dowdy:

This is a flat-out cool pen, and one I have been recommending constantly since its launch last summer. For someone like myself who has some experience with fountain pens, the ECO is a daily workhorse that can be taken out, used and abused, refilled, cleaned, nib swapped, and any other worry-free fun you want to have with a low cost fountain pen.

The ECO is a cool pen. I got mine yesterday.

Nock Co Lookout — The Finer Point

Jenny Mason:

I bought the Lookout because it was a 3 pen carry case. I didn’t want anything too big, I needed something that I could carry in a range of different bags and this fit the bill. Not only does this go into my work laptop bag but it also fits comfortably into an average sized handbag without taking up too much room.

The Lookout is one of many great Nock.co products. I don’t own one, but this is without doubt one of the cases I am considering. It is especially great for when having a as lightweight as possible

'Why the Lamy 2000 is My EDC Pen — nib & ink'

Matthew Morse:

There’s a reason this pen has been around for half a century. In fact, there are a lot of reasons and they are the same reasons I carry this pen with me nearly everyday. I’m not afraid to throw it in a pants pocket or bag or pen case because I know that it can take a few knocks and perform flawlessly. And it’ll do so all day, everyday.

I could not agree more, my Lamy 2000 was my preferred EDC and pocket pen from I got it, until I started using the Hightower again four or five months ago.

'RelayCon Atlanta


Help Brad and Myke record live and in-person at the 2016 Atlanta Pen Show!

I assume everyone here, either read The Pen Addict or listen to The Pen Addict Podcast, or both. They are doing another Kickstarter, to make do something awesome during The Atlanta Pen Show, like they did last year.

I’m going to back this one.


I ordered a TWSBI Eco with the 1.1 Stub Nib, when I ordered a pile of refills for my Midori Travelers Notebook and two bottles of ink. I’ll get back to the Ink, when I have had the time to giving it a proper test; aka using them for a while.

I went with the black model.

As always: I’ll do a proper review once I have used the pen for a few weeks. But these are my first impressions:

  • Design: looks like a cheaper version of the more expensive TWSBI models. My only problems with the design is the cap and the part you twist to operate the piston.
  • Feel: It feels great, and I actually like it a little bit better than the 580AL; the grip section is much more comfortable.
  • Nib: I love the stub nib. This might be a new rabbit hole for me.

I think this is the best value pen I have ever bought. It isn’t something I would recommend for a beginner as their first pen. But it could be a very good second pen, as long as the person isn’t scared of buying a bottle of ink.

When I think about it, I might go as far as I would rather get three of these than the 580. But I’ll get back into that when I writer a proper review.

My review of the Pilot Metropolitan

I got my Pilot Metropolitan almost three years ago. And I still use it more or less every week. There are two popular beginner fountain pens the Pilot Metropolitan and the Lamy Safari. My personal opinion is that the Pilot is better because it looks far better and the Lamy Safari has a moulded grip section which makes it very difficult to use for left handed people, like myself.

The great thing about the pen is that you have a wide variety of colours and two different nibs: medium and fine. Most people can find something they like. You can get the pen for around $15 and a converter for it is another $5. You get a lot of pen for the money.

It is a very well designed pen, there is one exception, I’ll get to that in a while, and it looks like a lot more expensive than $15.

I have two minor issues with the pen. My two other fountain pens have piston fillers and have a large ink capacity. So I might be a little bit spoiled. But I find the ink capacity of the converter for this pen to be way too small. My test is to see if I can get through a day with it or not. Either at work or while studying. Which means around 10 A4 pages.

The Pilot Metropolitan can get me through half a day.

The other “thing” about this pen is that there is a uncomfortable and sharp edge between the grip section and the pen body. It can get a little bit annoying during long writing sessions.

I still think it is a great pen. The solid casing and how tight the cap sits makes it a great pocket pen. My only problem with it is the ink capacity, so my advice is to either have two of them or to use cartridges, if you also think the ink capacity is too low.

'Ink Review

The Gentleman Stationer:

One of my favorite things about Iroshizuku is the name that Pilot/Namiki gives each ink.  Though only the Japanese name appears on the bottle, most stores also provide the English translation (which I assume is accurate and comes directly from Pilot).  Tsuki-Yo translates to “Moonlight.”  The ink, when wet, appears as a rich blue-black, but when it dries fades somewhat to a dark teal, and hints of blue-green emerge.  On certain papers, and when you are writing with a wet nib, you get some pretty good red sheen.

I’ve had this ink on the top of my ink wish list for a while, together with one of the green Iroshizuku inks. This ink is the first blue ink where I think: damn, I want that.

'Notebook Stories

Notebook Stories:

It’s hard to imagine a world without David Bowie…

Negotiations — Pen Addict

Jon Bemis:

I was tickled. To think that my multi-colored chicken scratch had legal standing was almost too funny to comprehend. The likelihood that my notes would ever end up in a courtroom was slim to none, but I was delighted nonetheless that my indulgent hobby could one day be entered into evidence.